Where is the hallel?

May I boast a little? Why not? Professor X can testify that he got a meager education and that was sufficient for reading the Bible.  Prayer warrior Y for Christ can boast about having the Spirit but cannot competently pray without sounding like a prophet of Baal. The fearful boast that Christ’s sacrifice makes the medical profession unnecessary, but they have not given up their health cards, put their dental and physiotherapy activities on pause.  It is smallness of mind that leads people to think that God will discard the documentation of his excellence throughout all of humanity’s journey.  Boasting and bragging has gone to the dogs, all the way to saying what is presumed to be a magical word – hallelujah – without actually saying what is praiseworthy.

I glory

Again I say, let no one think me foolish; but if you do, receive me even as foolish, so that I also may boast a little.

2 Corinthians 11:16

When Paul found himself repeatedly inhaling empty Jewish boasting and national pride he did not look far for a synonym for his own boasting and praising. He passed over the usual praise epaineo, glory (Hebrew kabod) bless barak and settled for boast (kauchomai).

People boasting about things
For the wicked boasts (Greek paineo, Hebrew halal) of his heart’s desire, And the greedy man curses and spurns the Lord.

Psalm 10:3

People boasting about God and the law

if you bear the name “Jew” and rely upon the Law and boast in God, 17) and know His will and approve the things that are essential, being instructed out of the Law, 18)

Romans 2:17-18

Do please say what God has DONE

Saying hallelujah a million times without addressing the Supreme Being or without declaring (a) what is excellent about HIM or (b) what excellent thing[s] he does is rubbish.

Let the hallel proclaim what is OBVIOUS

Insane people extol the small as GREAT

Halal is used for boasting, not only regarding others (Gen 12:5).  We are sure that Pharaoh’s princes praising Sarah said something about the lady. It is hightly unlikely that the men used the word halal in any of its forms.

Hallelujah is not a magical word. It has meaning. It is not like “amen” which signals agreement or wish. Amen comes from aman (אמן), he verified. When we say amen we are saying “I agree” and “Let it be so”. On the other hand hallelujah is a command, “y’all praise Yah”. The appropriate response to hallelujah is to be directed to Yahweh, not a mere repetition of the command. “Yah, you are more precious than silver”, “Oh God, your love lifted me” are examples of praise directed to God.

Boasting is naturally personal.  Boasting about another person can leave us flat on our faces. The cross is most personal in its genius and genesis and its effect on human conditions, is most admirable. This is why we find Paul mainlining it.

Mainline boasting

But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Galatians 6:14

“If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness” is a stern rebuke to unhinged boasting about law, obedience, healing, miraculous deliverances, and visionary experiences.

A hallel for disability

If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness. [Since it behooves me…I will]

2 Corinthians 11:30

Hallels we can use

Addressing God:  Yahweh, halaltika (I thank/I praise you) for your abc.  Addressing a loved one: HoneyI appreciate… A hallel cannot be empty. A

A kiss is a hallel. Carry his photo in your purse. Pharoah’s officials might have said something like “Your majesty, we keep seeing a woman with the most magical eyes and lips like juicy grapes.  Your majesty, we have never seen womanhood like hers! We found out that she is also the experienced manager of a very large household”. Simply saying the word hallelujah is hollow, and hollow does not become the God whose name is excellent everywhere. Surely we can find tons to say in praise of Yeshua’s excellent greatness. That is where the hallel lives.